Friday, 28 December 2012

Top 20 of 2012 PART 2: The Final Countdown

Yesterday I posted the first 10 films on my top 20 of 2012 list here. Today I bring you my favourite 10 films of 2012. It's all change since I made a similar list half way through the year.

  1. King of Devil’s Island
I reviewed this at Filmoria when it came out on home release. The story of a boys prison on an unforgiving island, King of Devil’s Island makes for stirring viewing. The performances are sovereign, lead by a sinister Stellan Skarsgård and the cinematography and score are supreme.

  1. Michael
The second of two films about child abuse in my top 10 which is a bit depressing but they do have a tendency to make very powerful viewing. It’s a haunting, horrible film with a breathtaking open ending. It’s not going to be a film for everyone, but you will find it hard to forget after you have seen it, mostly due to the ending which will leave you thinking about it for days and possibly even months or years.

  1. Untouchable
Powered by a wonderful performance from Omar Sy, I reviewed this one for Filmoria and also got to interview the directors. Telling the true story of a young black ex-con from the projects going to work as a carer for a wealthy quadriplegic, Untouchable flies beyond expectations right from the start. See it for Sy’s joyful performance and to witness an inspiring tale of a cross-cultural friendship.

  1. Skyfall
I'm not a huge Bond fan but this is possibly my favourite of the franchise.  I thought the opening scene was filled with spectacular action, the cinematography and production design was some of the finest of the year and the mixing of the old with the new made it a Bond for all audiences.  I can't see how it would fail to satisfy any Bond fan or anyone who just loves a good action film. 

  1. Life of Pi
Reviewed this for Static Mass Emporium finding it an enchanting, inspiring and surprisingly emotional film filled with wonder, awe-inspiring visuals and a character to root for in the stranded, bereaved but determined Pi. Despite taking eleven years to get from page to screen, it is absolutely worth the wait. Ang Lee has created an unbelievably cinematic treatment of the novel. Though the film itself takes its time getting to the heart of the story, the cinematography is spellbinding, the score is stirring and newcomer Suraj Sharma gives a heartfelt and compelling performance as hero Pi.

  1. Argo
A tense thriller directed by and starring Ben Affleck, this delivered on the promise of its unbelievable true story. Smuggling American officials out of Tehran at the height of the Iranian Embassy crisis in 1979 by creating a fake science-fiction film sounds too silly to believe but not only is this a true story, it is a bloody tense and hilarious one at that. Affleck makes the early scenes at the embassy the best and goes for a seriously Hollywood ending but this is consistently exciting and funny with a smidgen of politics thrown in for good measure.

  1. The Cabin in the Woods
Turning genre conventions on their head in a hilarious and smart puzzle of a film for horror fans, Cabin in the Woods is fast-paced, fresh, frightening and ridiculously funny!  If you haven't seen it yet, be careful what you read/see before you go in.  Blessed is s/he that knows next to nothing about what is in store. Destined to be studied by film studies students for some time.

  1. End of Watch
Reviewed for Static Mass Emporium, it provides a sensationally exciting climax with, director/writer David Ayer getting beneath the bravado, the bravery and the brashness of the boys in blue. Fuelled by superb performances, realistic dialogue and a fantastic soundtrack, End Of Watch is a cop thriller with everything you expect from the genre and more. By the end of your watch, the film will have made you laugh and cry and all from the precarious position of the edge of your seat.

  1. The Hunt
Reviewed for Static Mass Emporium, it’s a film about the precarious position teachers are in, at the mercy of imaginative children and pitch fork carrying adults. Mads Mikkelsen brings a virtuous integrity to the role, his popular and fun teacher giving way to a reserved and wounded man losing trust in those around him. His character’s arc is compelling and flawlessly written creating a compassionate, caring individual that is forced to show his cracks.

  1. The Dark Knight Rises
Saw this the day before my wedding so I was in a very good mood despite just getting over being ill. I’ve since reviewed the Blu-ray release for Filmoria. This is a thrilling, perfectly fitting conclusion to one of the greatest trilogies of all time. With a beautifully haunting and stirring score from Hans Zimmer, it achieves the impossible of making the outcome for Batman, Bruce Wayne and Gotham itself never certain and stands as the pinnacle of comic book movies.